Boko Haram Continues Deadly Church Attacks, Frees Prisoners in Nigeria
Radical Islamic group Boko Haram attacked two churches, a police station holding prisoners, and a government building in the town of Konduga in a rampage of violence that killed at least two people and sent residents running for their lives Tuesday night.
Boko Haram, reportedly translated as "Western Education is Forbidden," aims to avenge Muslim deaths and eradicate Western beliefs and practices. Boko Haram is responsible for several deadly attacks throughout Nigeria, including the bombing of the U.N. headquarters, and the bombing of a prison that held many of the group's members -- the bombing allowed many of those members to escape.
Last night, Boko Haram's attack on Konduga reportedly lasted over three hours. The attack destroyed a police station, government building, and two churches -- a Roman Catholic Church and The Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (Ekilisaya Yan'uwa a Nigeria). Rev. Samuel of that Catholic Church told Xinhua news agency how he and his family fled upon hearing the Jihadist calls in the streets. Samuel and his family ran through a river and hid under the cover of brush until Boko Haram had left their city.
Boko Haram arrived in Konduga blasting sirens from their vehicles in an effort to come across as security agents, it was reported. The attack caught townspeople off guard. One Konduga citizen said, "Before we knew what was happening, we started hearing gun shots and seeing smoke billowing" from several buildings.
Another witness told PM News that when Boko Haram came in "we had just finished our evening prayers when explosions and shootings erupted."
Many families and residents fled to neighboring villages during the attack. One citizen who fled said, "The bombing and the shooting were horrifying and forced us to abandon our homes."
This is not the first time Boko Haram has attacked Christians or churches. Just last Christmas, the militant group set off several bombs in the city of Damaturu, killing dozens of people. Boko Haram's leader, Abubakar Shekau, released a video on You Tube in which he vehemently speaks against Christians, saying that his terrorist group attacks Christians in order to avenge Muslim deaths.